Potty Training

Potty Training in the Heat

It’s hot. It’s really damn hot.

It’s 7 am and it’s 84 degrees out.

If you live anywhere east of the Rockies, you’ve know what I’m talking about. This heat wave has made its way across the country and just hit the east coast yesterday. I live outside of Boston, and the weather report for today is HOT. Specifically, it’s going to be hazy, hot, and humid, and while the temperature will hit 100, it’s going to feel like 109.

We don’t have central A/C in my little house, so our two window units are working overtime to keep the house just barely comfortable at 83 degrees. The baby doesn’t seem to mind the heat, but the toddler is a bit fussier than usual. Or maybe I’m the one who’s a bit fussier. It’s hard to know.

We’ve dealt with heat waves before, but this one is presenting a new challenge. You see, my toddler is well on her way to being potty-trained, which, generally speaking, is a great thing. We’ve had very few accidents since she finally consented to don the Dora and Hello Kitty underwear I had been unsuccessfully bribing her with for the past several weeks. The problem is that when it’s this hot, you want to keep your kids hydrated. And lots of water and milk means lots of trips to the bathroom.

Like every 4 minutes.

I timed it. I’m not kidding.

Either the child has a freakishly small bladder, or learning to hold your pee in and then let it all out at once is a developmental milestone that somehow failed to make it on any of the charts I’ve read. Either way, it’s super annoying. Our tiny bathroom is at least 10 degrees hotter than the rest of the house, and my little one can’t manage the entire process on her own yet. So, back and forth we went, a little potty parade with the toddler in front, Mommy right behind her, and the baby crawling at my heels. The three of us spent a fair amount of time yesterday crowded into the warmest, smallest room in the house.

It took a shocking amount of willpower for me not to slap a diaper on that kid. But I didn’t, and my little girl didn’t have a single accident, despite the sippy cups I kept pushing on her.

We both get a gold star for the day.

It’s going to be hot again today, so our plan is to spend the day drinking and peeing and drinking some more. The good news is that Shabbat starts tonight, and I fully intend to honor that age-old Jewish practice of fathers taking full responsibility for potty training on Shabbat.

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Carla Naumburg

Carla Naumburg, PhD, is a clinical social worker and writer. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post,The Huffington Post, Parents.com, PsychCentral.com, The Jewish Daily Forward, and Psychology Today. She is the author of two books, Parenting in the Present Moment: How to Stay Focused on What Really Matters (Parallax, 2014) and Ready, Set, Breathe: Practicing Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family (New Harbinger, 2015). Carla grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Bay Area of California, and she currently lives outside of Boston with her husband and two young daughters. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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